Localization of parathyroid enlargement: experience with technetium-99m methoxyisobutylisonitrile and thallium-201 scintigraphy, ultrasonography and computed tomography

Eur J Nucl Med. 1994 Jan;21(1):17-22. doi: 10.1007/BF00182301.


Technetium-99m methoxyisobutylisonitrile (MIBI), like thallium-201, has recently been introduced as a myocardial perfusion agent and is now also showing very promising results in parathyroid scintigraphy. The results of 201Tl/99mTc-pertechnetate and 99mTc-MIBI/99mTc-pertechnetate subtraction scintigraphy, ultrasonography and computed tomography are presented in a series of 43 patients operated on for hyperparathyroidism. All four imaging modalities were confirmed to be reliable, scintigraphy being the most accurate. Sensitivities ranged from 81% to 95%, that of 99mTc-MIBI being the highest. Moreover this tracer, which has more favourable physical and also biochemical properties, yielded images of superior quality. This allowed localization of the lesion by visual inspection only in as many as 86% of the patients with positive 99mTc-MIBI/99MTc-pertechnetate subtraction scintigraphy. We believe that the higher sensitivity, superior image quality and lower cost of 99mTc-MIBI imaging will make 99mTc-MIBI the new radiopharmaceutical of choice for parathyroid scintigraphy (when one take into account the stability of labelling with large activities it is possible to perform three or four cardiac studies together with one parathyroid scintigraphic examination using one lyophilized vial).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenoma / surgery
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism / diagnosis*
  • Hyperparathyroidism / surgery
  • Parathyroid Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Parathyroid Neoplasms / surgery
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m
  • Subtraction Technique
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi
  • Thallium Radioisotopes


  • Thallium Radioisotopes
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi
  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m